While I don’t use any third-party Photoshop Plug-Ins such as Eye Candy, Xerofex, etc, they do have a bad name for “cheating” the graphics. To me, this is not exactly true because Plug-Ins are created to assist you completing the graphics, not becoming the center of attention like many thought. There’s no such thing like one click = finished piece.

If you want to use third-party Plug-Ins, go ahead! But.. make sure that applied plug-ins only steal less than 10% of attention in finished piece. The more attention it steals, the more amateur it looks. If you don’t want it to look too generic, customize the applied graphic separately by smudging, lowering contrast/saturation, etc until to a point where they doesn’t look too “plugins-ish”.